Do you have a dream? When you sit down and look at your life, your career, or your business, what is it you really want?
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Believing in the beauty of dreams is a wonderful thing, but actually realizing your dreams is even better!
It’s been said that dreams are just goals without a plan. Realizing your dreams may be possible if you set the goals and put a plan in place. I have always been a big believer in having a plan and setting goals in life and business. But how does a dream translate into goals?
Whatever you see in your mind’s eye, how are you going to achieve it? Will you continue sitting there dreaming, or will you take action?
Make It Happen!
Take your dream and start thinking about what would need to happen to make it reality. What steps can you take to get you there? Dream big, but try breaking it down into smaller goals. Be SMART about it. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
- Specific: “Be successful” isn’t a very helpful goal. Try narrowing down exactly what you want. Get a promotion by next year? Develop a standardized conference scheduling calendar? Make a list and set clear, specific goals — be sure to write it down!
- Measurable: Without a clear idea of what you want to achieve, it is difficult to figure out what exactly you should do. Do you want to improve employee satisfaction in the workplace? Set a goal to improve satisfaction by a certain amount – give a survey at the beginning and end of the year, and decide to raise satisfaction by 15%. Then at the end of the year, see how the numbers add up.
- Achievable: Don’t get too hung up on making “safe” goals – wanting a raise of at least $1 isn’t going to be very motivating. Remember, the greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
- Realistic: Keep your goals in perspective. Take risks, but don’t wage everything on something far beyond your reach. Keep yourself accountable, and ask others to help! It is important to stretch yourself, but don’t hope for another galaxy – shooting for the moon is just fine.
- Time-bound: Giving yourself deadlines will motivate you to take action! Don’t procrastinate – put it on your calendar. Don’t let your goals stretch into infinity – try setting weekly, monthly, and yearly goals, and maybe even construct a five-year plan.
Once you’ve set your goals, don’t be afraid to adjust them if necessary. Unplanned obstacles will come up along the way, but don’t let them stop you from reaching your destination.
Always be willing to ask for help – you don’t have to do it alone! Turn to a mentor, or seek an expert’s opinion. If your dream is to run a successful business, seek out groups like Experts 4 Entrepreneurs for support. If you dream of financial security in your life or business, talk to a financial planner and take advantage of their expertise!
Overall, if you make a plan, set goals and take action, your dreams can be achieved. Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it.